Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

Some Shepard’s Pie


Posted by Michael, March 2nd, 2011

Rebecca and I are suckers for comfort food and when we gave up eating meat roughly two years ago, we were also giving up many comfort foods we both grew up with.  For me, it was the many Italian dishes.  For Rebecca, it was the corned beef and cabbage type dishes.  Don’t get me wrong, we still crave these dishes but we’ve found some comfort food replacements along the way.  One of them being black bean tacos; we just cannot get enough of these things.

So when we started playing the “what do you want for dinner?” game at work the other day, Rebecca came up with a great solution: Vegetarian Shepard’s Pie.  Now, if you do a simple Google search for this, you’re going to get many results with many recipes.  The majority of these recipes included meat substitutes and other non-everyday-type vegetables.  We don’t do meat substitutes; we’ve tried and we really don’t like them.  So as the conversation went on, we realized it had to include ingredients that screamed comfort — nothing crazy, no curve balls.

I found a great recipe on  It had everything we wanted: carrots, corn, peas, celery, onions, potatoes.  The recipe did call for a meat substitute, but I ignored it while cooking.

I started by dicing all the vegetables (about 1-1.5 cups for each) and placing them all in a large pot.  Along with the vegetables came the vegetable broth, pepper, bay leaves and nutmeg.  This mixture cooked on medium-low heat all while I stirred constantly; maybe a solid 10-15 minutes until everything was tender.

While the veggies were cooking, I was also chopping and then boiling my potatoes.  The recipe didn’t give instructions for the mashed potatoes (it called for already prepared mashed potatoes), so I did my own thing.  Boiled the potatoes until soft and then mashed them with some butter and cream.  Easy, yet delicious.

Once the veggies were tender, I took out about 1/2 cup of the broth and placed in a bowl.  I then slowly mixed in flour (about 2 tablespoons) into this broth.  And once this was all mixed, I added this broth back in with the vegetables.  This pot continued to cook for a couple more minutes all while I was stirring constantly and trying to get everything thickened.

As soon as the veggie mixture was thickened, we were good to go. I placed the veggies into a casserole dish, spreading into an even layer.  Then I added the mashed potatoes on top and baked at 375 for a solid 25 minutes — at which point the very top of the potatoes started to brown.

And what do you know?  This dish was absolutely fantastic.  We both had seconds and couldn’t wait until we could eat some more at lunch the following day.  It’s been just about a day and I’m ready to make this again.  This dish is definitely going to become a comfort food of ours.

We’ll be posting this over at Jenn’s What I Ate Wednesday link party once again. Go check out Peas & Crayons for some more recipes! 🙂

ps- for another good read today check out Sara from House Bella’s guest post on why she moved from New Hampshire to Idaho over at Two Become One. It’s part of Samantha’s “Living Your Best Life” series of posts and it’s a goodie!

pps- that ps was from Rebecca, hijacking Mike’s post. I can’t stay away for a day 🙂

What We Ate Wednesday- Beans & Macaroni


Posted by Rebecca, February 9th, 2011

Yay another post for Jenn’s What I Ate Wednesday link party over at Peas and Crayons!

Last night (I guess this series should really be called “What we ate for dinner Tuesday”?), Mike made a variation of his grandfather’s pasta e fagioli recipe. Mike’s isn’t soupy at all, so we normally refer to it as beans and macaroni. In fact, today I had the leftovers for lunch and I ate it with a fork.

Okay so! The ingredients:

Half of a medium sized onion

2 cloves of garlic

1-2 stalks of celery

3 cans of cannellini beans (white kidney beans)

1/2 lb smallish pasta

1/2 can tomato sauce (15 ounce or so can)


Put some olive oil in a pot, adding the onion and garlic. Cook until onions are clear and add 2 and a half cans of beans (with juice). As this cooks, stir and smash beans, add half of a can of tomato sauce and salt and pepper to taste. In a separate pot, boil water and add chopped celery until soft. Cook pasta and set aside. Once beans have condensed and are creamy, add remaining beans and juice into the pot, along with the chopped celery. Cook for an additional ten minutes or so. Add pasta to mixture, stir and done!

If you prefer the more traditional soupy route, when you add the celery to the bean mixture, add the water that it was cooked in as well.  Cook the pasta in the same mixture until soft.

We sort of forgot that we had What We Ate Wednesday in the middle of cooking this, so we didn’t take pictures along the way. Sorry about that, but it’s the end result that counts, right? 🙂

What We Ate Wednesday- Blackened Mahi Mahi


Posted by Rebecca, February 2nd, 2011

My first post for Jenn’s ‘What I Ate Wednesday’ link party was such a success (and fun) that we decided to do it again!

I know there are some vegetarians out there whose heads are currently spinning. You eat fish? Well, yes, kinda sorta. I have never really liked fish. I don’t like shrimp or even fried calamari. My dad is an avid fisher so there was always a lot of fish around when I was growing up.. and I hated it. But I like Mahi, it is the only fish that I like.

So why would I choose to not eat meat but to eat fish? Well for me it’s the “I don’t know what kind of life these animals lived” factor that ruins meat for me. We eat Mahi and Yellowfin caught by my father. It has roamed (swam?) the ocean and was no doubt killed humanely, since my father is a huge animal lover. What, did you think I was just born like this? I was raised to respect every animal out there as another life.  Growing up we rescued cats, squirrels, chipmunks, birds, turtles, ducks and I’m sure I’m missing some. Though I personally don’t think I could fish, I know my dad does it as humanely as possible.

So on to the menu!

Mahi filets…

The standard broccoli…

Some peppers and onions…

And perhaps my favorite food of all time, mashed potatoes…

We put some melted butter on the filets and sprinkled them with Phillip’s blackening seasoning…

Then we put the filets on the griddle that sits over the 5th burner on our stove. This griddle is fabulous. Cooks great, super easy to clean and convenient. We also have a $15 electric griddle we’ve used for years that works wonderfully.

(ps- please ignore the filthy burner in this picture, if you can even spot it. We had a spillage issue somewhere along the way…)

Mmm buttery goodness, I never said this was necessarily healthy 🙂

We added the peppers and onions, which we cooked for a little in a frying pan (somehow cause of dirty burner) to the skillet for a few minutes…

Then all done! We skip to Mike’s partially consumed plate because we were so anxious to eat that I forgot to take pictures…

I’m pretty sure we’re obsessed with blackening seasoning. We now use it on fries, veggies….practically everything!

Be sure to visit Jenn over at Peas and Crayons for some more cooking fun 🙂

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